Natalie Richard: In Good Taste


Chocolate is Good for You!


Chocolate is good for you! As long as it’s chocolate—which means cacao paste as the first ingredient and not a list of artificial substances such as corn syrup, glucose, refined sugar and all the imaginable versions of hydrogenated oils. A good chocolate should contain at least 70% of cacao. Sure, it is a little bitter but this is what real chocolate taste like and I promise that the more you get used to the taste, the more you will love it.

And YES, it is good for you!

Dark chocolate contains a large amount of polyphenols, a chemical that helps prevent the damage of free radicals in the body, in other words cancer, premature aging and other diseases. Green tea, red wine and deep red and purple berries and fruits are also high in polyphenols, like prunes, cherries, blueberries and grapes.

My favourite hot chocolate is the one my friend Bertin makes with dulce de leche and sea salt, at his hotel Le Pleasant, in Sutton, a beautiful town of Quebec’s Eastern townships, where you can find great food and great ski. Also, one of the most quintessential Spa—BALNEASpa is near by and a must, if you travel to this area.

Now to sample the apotheosis of chocolate at home, here is my favourite and most simple recipe:

Chocolate Fondant

Ingredients: 8 oz (200g) of 70% dark chocolate, ½ stick of butter, 1/3 cup of organic unrefined sugar, 3 eggs, 1/3  cup of organic flour, a pinch of salt, 1 small cup of espresso (2 oz max.) and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.

Preheat the oven at 400F.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter (room temperature) with the sugar, until light and fluffy.

Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, mix well and add the flour with a pinch of salt. Beat until combined and finally add the espresso, the vanilla and the melted chocolate.

Pour the mixture in a 6-cup greased muffin tin and bake for 8-10 minutes. Serve topped with whipped cream and raspberries.

Note: For children, replace the coffee with grape juice or ¼ cup of mashed raspberries.